stew·​ard·​ship | \ ˈstü-ərd-ˌship How to pronounce stewardship (audio) , ˈstyü-; ˈst(y)u̇rd- \

Definition of stewardship

1 : the office, duties, and obligations of a steward
2 : the conducting, supervising, or managing of something especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care stewardship of natural resources

Good Stewardship

When stewardship first appeared in English during the Middle Ages, it functioned as a job description, denoting the office of a steward, or manager of a large household. Over the centuries, its range of reference spread to the oversight of law courts, employee unions, college dining halls, Masonic lodges, and many other organizations. In recent years, the long-established "management" sense of stewardship has evolved a positive meaning, “careful and responsible management.” This sense is commonly found nowadays in contexts such as “stewardship of the environment, the family business,” etc. It also occasionally appears as an adjective in phrases such as “stewardship fundraising" (that is, fundraising aimed at building good relationships with donors in order to keep them loyal).

Examples of stewardship in a Sentence

generally the dean left the day-to-day stewardship of the college to the assistant dean she believes that stewardship of the environment is everyone's responsibility
Recent Examples on the Web David is a member of the Cerro Negro Forest Council, which manages a community thinning project in the Carson National Forest that is based on the tenets of acequia stewardship. Alicia Inez Guzmán For Searchlight Nm, Rolling Stone, 8 June 2022 In her careful response, Black sidestepped defensiveness to focus on transnational values—the importance of universal stewardship of the planet. Claudia Kalb, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 May 2022 Such unusual or large one-time awards are drawing more attention, said Caitlin McSherry, director of investment stewardship at the investment manager Neuberger Berman. Theo Francis, WSJ, 19 May 2022 Fighting vaccine and mask mandates is a big part of LePage’s critique of Mills’ stewardship. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 18 Mar. 2022 Totaling as much as $81 million, the funding through the two major oil-producing states has qualified support from land stewardship advocates who don't usually side with the petroleum industry. Mead Gruver, Star Tribune, 12 Nov. 2020 Many of the sites the Culpeper Battlefields State Park will include are already open to the public, under the stewardship of the battlefield trust or other organizations. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 6 June 2022 Give us your take on how these four years have gone in terms of fixing what was horribly broken under the stewardship of Joseph Berrios. The Editorial Board, Chicago Tribune, 2 June 2022 The statue and its plinth will be reinstalled at the Cross Keys Battlefield in Harrisonburg, Virginia, under the stewardship of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, according to a council statement. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stewardship.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stewardship

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of stewardship was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near stewardship

steward of Scotland



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Last Updated

21 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stewardship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on stewardship

Nglish: Translation of stewardship for Spanish Speakers


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